TORONTO, ON – In a multi-day, online vote culminating on October 1st, members of the Associated Designers of Canada (ADC) have voted 95% in favour of joining the IATSE. For decades, members of the two organizations have worked side by side in venues all across Canada. This vote serves to formalize the strong relationship the ADC and the IATSE have always enjoyed.
Discussions began months ago, after ADC reached out with some general queries concerning the IATSE’s structure and benefits, and what a potential merger might look like. As part of the newly-struck Creative Industries Coalition – which also includes Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and the Canadian Federation of Musicians – the two organizations began working even more closely together to lobby the federal government around income supports for entertainment industry workers facing mass unemployment due to COVID-19. With so much overlap in workplace issues and required supports for their members, the benefits of formally joining together became even more apparent.
ADC President Ken MacKenzie stated, “This affiliation with IATSE marks a significant turning point for the ADC and our member artists. In choosing to more closely align with our IATSE colleagues, we look to promote more fair and equitable workplaces. The alliance will help support designers’ lives and careers long into the future. Through our work together in the Creative Industries Coalition, lobbying on behalf of independent arts workers, we have built a strong relationship with the IATSE, and recognize one another’s commitment to advocating on behalf of our memberships. The ADC is thrilled to be joining with the IATSE as Local ADC 659.”
IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb also expressed his support. “Working together to better people’s lives is the basic tenet of unionism. With so much commonality between the two organizations, including shared employers, the fit is a natural one. We’re excited to welcome these talented ADC designers into the IATSE family.”
The ADC, formed in 1965, represents the set, costume, lighting, projection, and sound designers in live performance throughout English Canada, and the IATSE represents virtually all other behind-the-scenes positions. The ADC will form its own IATSE Local Union, called IATSE Local ADC 659, which will become active on January 1, 2021. The new Local, consisting of the ADC’s 250 designers, has been granted a national charter – a first for the IATSE in Canada.